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Help with water softener!

Posted by cleverchimp (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 18, 14 at 18:51

Hi all,

I've been reading a lot about the topic from this forum and this is my situation :

Main house

1. 3 people are in the home
2. 2 full bathrooms are in the home
3. 15 GPG hardness level of my raw, unfiltered water
4. 7.5 GPM flow rate in gallons per minute (GPM)
5. The size of the main water line is 1", the house plumbing is 3/4"

Guest house

1. 0 people are in the home (ATM)
2. 1 full bathrooms are in the home
3. Plumbing is 3/4" all around

I dont know if I can find the water line that connects to the guest house, it branches somewhere...the water is still running when I shut the main off but I wanted 1 softener to handle both houses eventually.

The vendor recommend :

1.) 48,000 grain water softener with the Fleck 5600SXT Electronic Metered valve & 10% Crosslink Chlorine Resistant Softening Resin for whole house filtration of Hardness from your water

I would recommend this softener be installed in the main water supply line, and be set to regenerate about every 2500 gallons or 10 days, whichever comes first.....

- Fleck 5600SXT Electronic Metered On Demand Control Valve Water Softener 48,000 Grain Capacity
10x54 Resin Tank
1.5 cubic feet of NSF Approved High Capacity Cation 10% Crosslink Chlorine Resistant Softening Resin
12 gpm service flow rate
2.5 gpm backwash flow rate

Selected options:
Fleck Valve Connection: 1 Inch Noryl Yoke with Noryl Bypass Valve
Tank Color Option: Almond
Brine Tank Size: 15x17x36 Rect Brine Tank

Please advise...thank you in advance. Also, I bought Watts WH-LD Premier Whole House Filter System but just realize the connection is 3/4" not 1", if I install this before the softener, will this making an issue? Should I go with the 1" version filter?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help with water softener!

Need to know pH and TDS to ensure we don't have to make any adjustments to the regen. Since you are on city water, you are entitled to a copy of your city water report - most publish the reports online now. Find that and post it and we'll go from there.

As to the filter, to avoid excessive pressure drop, I would go with one that is 4" diameter instead of the 2" you have. A "Big Blue" or similar is a good option - you can get one with the clear housing like the Watts. The connection size will cause less pressure drop than the filter housing size.


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RE: Help with water softener!

thanks for the reply.

From the city website, I found the 2011 report.


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RE: Help with water softener!

And then the 2012 report, they did not have the 2013 report yet.


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RE: Help with water softener!

My current setup (I will run roughly 8 feet of 1" line and move the current location of the softener due to sun exposure). I also read that 7000SXT is a better valve then 5600SXT.

Alice, do you mean the filter like this :

FlowMatic Full-Flow 10" Clear:Black Housing with Pressure Release and 1" Connection (FH5000CB1PR) #18337

http://www.ohiopurewater.com/shop/customer/product.php?productid=18337&cat=586&page=1


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RE: Help with water softener!

Both the 5600SXT and the 7000SXT are good, reliable valves. If you are running a 1" line to and from the softener, go with the 7000 only because it has 1" internal porting, whereas the 5600 internals are 3/4".

Now, sizing the soften gets a little tricky. Hardness of your water varies widely, between 4 and 22 gpg depending upon source. In order to ensure you never have hard water, the softener needs to be sized for the max of 22 gpg. The good news is that a 1.5 cuft softener will work fine for your main house. It would regen every 7 - 8 days. It could, however, be undersized if you have frequent or lots of guests at once in the guest house. Since it is (I presume) a detached guest house, it becomes more likely that two showers could be running at the same time and that presents a potential flow issue. If you plan on the guest house being used frequently, I would go with a 2.0 cuft softener.

Filter: Yes, the one you linked to is precisely what I had in mind. It should be installed with a 3-valve bypass for ease of filter changes, and purchase an extra o-ring (they have an uncanny way of wandering off during filter changes).

Brine tank: I prefer round to square or rectangular brine tanks. It's partially an aesthetic issue, but they tend to hold their shape better. They distribute the stress of salt/brine weight uniformly and will not bulge, particularly in an outdoor installation.

The following requirements are for an industry standard softener. Most of these are covered in the quote you have, but not all. Any decent softener vendor should be able to provide the following:


  • High quality American or German made resin. This will provide a tight size distribution for optimal flow within the resin. NSF does not necessarily mean American or German made, so check on this.
  • Since you have CITY WATER: 10% crosslinked resin. The oxidizers that city water treatment plants use, such as chlorine or chloramine, are harmful to softener resins. Higher crosslinking will resist chemical attack longer. This is covered in your quote.
  • Top basket. This serves two purposes. It sets up a proper water distribution during normal operation and prevents resin loss during backwash.
  • Gravel underbed. The gravel underbed is there to set up proper flow patterns, improve backwash, keep the bottom basket in place, prevent basket failure, and prevent channeling. Many softener sales companies like to leave this out or sell softeners with a vortex system instead. Vortex systems weigh less than gravel so they cost less to ship. In addition, they are a more expensive item that adds profit for the softener salesperson, but provides no additional benefit to the homeowner . It simply adds another piece of equipment that can break.
  • Fleck or Clack valves. These set the industry standard. Be aware that you will not be able to purchase Clack valves online. This is not a problem if you purchase locally. In your case, the 7000sxt is preferable with your 1" line.
  • Noryl bypass. Most softeners are available with either Noryl or stainless bypass valves. Both are good valves, but the noryl tends to be more reliable when not used for long periods of time. This is covered in your quote.
  • Install the softener with a three-valve bypass. This will make it so much easier if you ever need to remove the softener for repairs or wish to take it with you when you move. Use full-port, quarter-turn valves.


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RE: Help with water softener!

Alice, you are right, the guest house is detached. Worst come worst, I probably need to install small separate softener for the guest house. My main concern is for the front house ATM.

The vendor stated to set it to regen every 10 days or 2500 gallons. I read that over 8 days is bad for the resin?

I plan to do the filter with 3 way bypass. Thanks for the tip on the O-Rings. The brine tank that the vendor recommend is seems to be match with what you recommended (rectangular). By the way what is "Ress Up Feeder"? Do I need that?

When I check the vendor website...they have the 7000SXT with 1" but it's in PVC...I guess I have to order the 1-1/4" brass instead and downsize from there to 1".

So my setup will be :

1" Filter (with 3 valve bypass) --> Fleck 7000SXT 48k grain softener with :

(They do have Purolite SST60 resin for extra $141, but not sure if the price difference will be worth it)


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RE: Help with water softener!

Res-up feeder is only for iron-laden waters, which you do not have.

The SST60 is not worth the extra cost for a standard residential application.

The brine tank is NOT what I recommend - go with ROUND if you have the option, for the reasons I stated previously.

Call the vendor instead of just looking at their website - you can probably get exactly what you want.

The vendor was sizing your softener for average hardness. Like I stated, it needs to be sized for max hardness or you will have hard water when the city switches sources. That will place you at 7-8 days between regens.

Going longer between regens can be an issue if you have particulates, high pressure, or other water conditions that overly stress the resin. I don't see those issues with your water.


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RE: Help with water softener!

Yes, I'm planning to call them once I settled with the item I need to order. Alice, thank you for being very helpful with my question.

One last question, as for the filter they recommend is
Watts HSG 20" Full-Flow 20" Clear:Black Housing with Pressure Release and 1" Connection (W20FFPH1CBPR) with FlowMax 20 micron (FM-BB-20-20) cartridge rated at 25 GPM.

What I have in mind is
FlowMatic Full-Flow 10" Clear:Black Housing with Pressure Release and 1" Connection (FH5000CB1PR) with FlowMax 5 micron (FM-BB-10-5) cartridge rated at 15 GPM.

The only difference is the GPM and the maximum water temperature (the samller one actually can handle 125F compared to the bigger one at 100F). The softener rated 12 GPM, I think 15 GPM flow is sufficient. You think?


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RE: Help with water softener!

Provided you change cartridges regularly the smaller filter will work. 5 micron filtration may nor be necessary. 20 is likely fine.


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RE: Help with water softener!

For the sake of clarity, here is what you posted on your separate thread.

I just installed the fleck 7000SXT softener and need help with programming it (48k capacity, 1.5cu ft). Based on 3 person@60 gallon, 16-17GPG hardness, assuming 3000k/day, in 8 days that come up to 24k grain.
I did some research and came up with this :

DF: GAL
VT: dF2b
CT: Fd (Meter Flow Delayed)
C: 24k (capacity)
H: 17 (hardness)
RS: SF (Percentage Safety Factor)
SF: 20 percent
DO: 9 (Day override)
RT: 2:00AM
B1: 10 mins (back wash)
BD: 60 mins (brine draw)
B2: 5 (salt time setting)
RR: 10 mins (rapid rinse)
BF: 12
FM: t1.2 - 1.5'' Turbine Meter (7000 default)

Questions :

GPG varies between taps, sometimes it's 16 on this tap, and 17 on the others. Should I use 16 or 17? As far as I know, the 7000sxt have by pass right? just in case it need a service, I can put it on bypass so I still have water going to the house.

Are the setting right? Please advise.

Before I can help you with settings (and they are incorrect), you will need to find the BLFC sticker on your softener. It should be a small, 3/4"x3/4" sticker, either white, red, black of blue on the outside of the brine line flow control. It will specify gallons per minute of brine flow. It should be 0.125, 0.25 or 0.5 gpm.

What specific resin is installed in your softener?

This post was edited by aliceinwonderland_id on Mon, May 26, 14 at 10:06


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RE: Help with water softener!

The BLFC is 0.125 GPM.


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RE: Help with water softener!

I did go with the 10% crosslinked resin as you recommended, but it was made in China...the one made here is too expensive.


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RE: Help with water softener!

Change the following settings:

  • C (capacity): 36 [capacity is determined by the resin specifications, NOT by how many grains of hardness you will run through the softener in an given period of time]
  • H (hardness): 22 (this is the highest indicated in your city water report. If you will be monitoring your hardness with an decent test kit, such as the Hach 5b, then go ahead and set it at the highest level you see)
  • BF: 32


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RE: Help with water softener!

for H, I have tested the GPG several times of different days, recently it show less GPG. It actually never reach 22GPG on my house for some reason. Randomly the data is 15 GPG up to 20 GPG, the reason I use 17 is because its the middle number and considering the prefilter, I knockdown 0.5 from 17.5, but the way you suggest it...I guess I have to put 20 GPG as that the maximum.

for C, is it also determined by the softener size? I have 48k unit, I'm about to set it 48k at the beginning from the default is 30k. So considering changing the C to 36k, that worth 10 days of soft water based on 3600grains/day. I should probably change the DO to 10?

for BF, what I've read that there are some methods to calculate this.

180gpdX20hardness=3600hardness/day.
36000/3600 = 10 days between regen.
1.5 cu feet resin regenerated by 9 lbs of salt.
9 lbs of salt/3 which is 3 gallons of water needed.
With BLFC of 0.125, this will make the BF value of 24 minutes.

How did you get the 32?


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RE: Help with water softener!

DF: GAL
VT: dF2b
CT: Fd (Meter Flow Delayed)
C: 30k (capacity)
H: 20 (hardness)
RS: SF (Percentage Safety Factor)
SF: 20 percent
DO: 8 (Day override)
RT: 2:45AM
B1: 10 mins (back wash)
BD: 60 mins (brine draw)
B2: 5 (salt time setting)
RR: 10 mins (rapid rinse)
BF: 16
FM: t1.2 - 1.5'' Turbine Meter (7000 default)

I have another setting proposed that might be more efficient in salt usage. At 30k, 1.5 cu feet consumes 6lb of salt, which need 2 gallon of water on brine tank. It saves on average about 5 lb of salt every month.


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RE: Help with water softener!

First, don't change the DO. The day override is the maximum amount of time you want to go between regeneration. Had you purchased American-made resin, there would be no problem pushing the DO out as far as 20 days. However, the Chinese resin has a much poorer size distribution which allows the resin to become compacted more quickly so DO needs to be shorter. This may mean that your softener regens based on the DO rather than water usage at times. That's fine.

If you wish to regenerate with a lower salt dosage, you may, but you need to understand the repercussions.

My recommendation is for 8 lb salt per cubic ft of resin, or 12 lb salt per regen. This will give you 8-9 days between regens. Remember, you have to take the safety factor into account when calculating. I tend to recommend 8 lb salt/cuft because this is the point at which most people prefer the feel of the water and you gain water efficiency.

If you wish to regen with 6 lb salt per cubic ft of resin, total salt dose per regen will be 9 lb. Then you need to change C to 31, BF to 24, and you will get 7-8 days between regens.

Your last suggestion regens with only 4 lb salt per cubic ft of resin, with a total salt dose per regen of 6 lbs salt. If you do this, you will have to change C to 27, BF to 24, and your softener will regen every 6 days.

If you choose to use a lower salt dosage:

  1. You will place more chemical stress on your resin. Resin life is determined by the chemical makeup of your water and the stress you place on it. Chlorine chemically stresses resin, weakening it slowly. The 10% crosslinking slows, but does not eliminate the inevitable. This stress is exaccerbated by frequent regens.
  2. Every regen cycle mechanically stresses the resin. The beads swell and shrink a bit with each cycle, placing mechanical stress on the resin. More cycles = more stress = shorter resin life.
  3. Lower salt dosages, although they use less salt, use more water. Each regen cycles uses the same amount of water, regardless of the amount of salt. Going from my recommendation of an 8 lb/cuft dose to your 4 lb/cuft dose increase regen water by 30%.
  4. As salt dosage decreases, hardness bleed increases. All softeners bleed a certain amount of hardness. At reasonable salt dosages, hardness bleed will be in the single-digit ppm range, basically 0 gpg. However, as salt dosages get lower and hardness bleed increases, you will begin to notice a difference in the feel of the water and start seeing some buildup. I consider it a detriment but it may be desirable to you.

This post was edited by aliceinwonderland_id on Mon, May 26, 14 at 15:25


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RE: Help with water softener!

Thank you again for an excellent point on salt vs regen issues. I certainly like to avoid hard water, as I began removing build ups on my fixture (from 1 year without water treatment system in place) and its not fun.

The water is actually more expensive here then the salt. By changing the H to 20, would this affect anything? Or do i need to change anything else?

DF: GAL
VT: dF2b
CT: Fd (Meter Flow Delayed)
C: 36k (capacity)
H: 20 (hardness)
RS: SF (Percentage Safety Factor)
SF: 20 percent
DO: 9 (Day override)
RT: 2:45AM
B1: 10 mins (back wash)
BD: 60 mins (brine draw)
B2: 5 (salt time setting)
RR: 10 mins (rapid rinse)
BF: 32
FM: t1.2 - 1.5'' Turbine Meter (7000 default)


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RE: Help with water softener!

Changing the H to 20 tells the softener how much hardness it sees per gallon of water used. It will change how often the softener regens by about a day compared to using 17, but will ensure you don't see periodic slugs of hard water when your city changes water sources. Nothing else needs to be changed. The softener's programming will ensure it regens when it needs to.


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RE: Help with water softener!

I pay attention on how many gallons of water we used, its close to 200 gallons/day then 180 predicted so it does regenerate about once a week now, I doubt it will ever need the DO 9 days. Should I change the C to 40K?


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RE: Help with water softener!

Why would you change the C to 40K? Capacity is not just a random number - it is determined by resin volume and salt dosage. In order to obtain a capacity of 40K you would need to regenerate with more salt - 10 lb/cuft of resin, or 15 lb total per regen (BF = 40), which would reduce your salt efficiency for no good reason.

Unless your water chemistry changes, your softener is programmed correctly.


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RE: Help with water softener!

I guess I should ask, if my water consumption is actually increase (like an addition of the family and such), what setting should I change?

Now I understand that, I should change the C but also the BF if that happens so it doesn't regenerate every 3 days or so. C=40, BF=40 and if C=48 then the BF would be 56 (14lb/cuft).


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RE: Help with water softener!

Don't mess with the programming. If you add another person, your softener will regen every 5-6 days. Add two more and it will regen every 4-5 days. Allowing it to do that is more practical than fussing with programming.

If you feel you need 48K capacity, there is no practical way to get it with the softener you have. Because the relationship between salt dosage and resin capacity is not linear, you would have to feed it in excess of 24 salt per cuft of resin.


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